Monday, March 2nd, 2015 at 2:07pm. 11 Views, 0 Comments.
>> Market UpdateQUOTE OF THE WEEK... "Vision is the art of seeing the invisible." --Jonathan Swift, Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, poet, and cleric
INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... What's often not visible in housing reports are the positive details behind the negative headline numbers. New Home Sales for January were down 0.2% from December, but that's a mere 1,000 units. Sales were still at a 481,000 annual rate, up a solid 4.6% versus a year ago. And sales would have come in up for the month if not for a 51.6% drop in the Northeast, the result of the region's epic blizzard conditions. Supply also improved, as new homes inventory grew 1.4%, to 218,000, its highest level in five years. Existing Home Sales were down 4.9% in January, but are
Saturday, February 28th, 2015 at 3:02pm. 14 Views, 0 Comments.
COMMENTARY: The biggest economic event of the week was Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen's trip to Capitol Hill to present her semi-annual testimony on monetary policy. As expected, Mrs. Yellen set the stage for an increase of the Federal Reserve's Benchmark short-term interest rates later this year -- but she made it abundantly clear there are a number of economic milestones, especially with regards to inflation, that must be achieved before such a move is implemented. On balance, she did a good job of leaving the central bank’s options open with respect to the timing and magnitude of any shift in monetary policy. The fact she did not sound a more ominous tone helped nudge rates just a bit lower for the week.
In terms of economic news the coming week…
Monday, February 23rd, 2015 at 8:11pm. 41 Views, 0 Comments.
>> Market UpdateQUOTE OF THE WEEK... "Fortune favors the audacious." --Desiderius Erasmus, Dutch scholar and social critic
INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... Some might consider it audacious to say all is well on the homebuilding front following last week's reports. Housing Starts dipped 2.0% in January, to a 1.065 million annual rate, with a 6.7% reduction in single-family starts. Equally disturbing, Building Permits were off 0.7%, to a 1.053 million annual rate. But in the last twelve months, single-family starts are up 16.3%, and permits up 5.8%. The 12-month moving average for overall housing starts (single- and multi-family) is at its highest level since 2008. And total number of homes under construction was up 1.1% in January and up
Friday, February 20th, 2015 at 7:32pm. 55 Views, 0 Comments.
COMMENTARY: With this uneventful holiday shortened week now in our rear view window mirror, a look ahead is the only way to go.
The biggest economic event of the coming week will be Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen's upcoming trip to Capitol Hill to present her semi-annual testimony on monetary policy. Mrs. Yellen will almost certainly set the stage for a an increase in the Federal discount rate later this year -- but she'll go out of her way to indicate there are a number of economic milestones that must be achieved before such a move is implemented. Most mortgage investors have already priced in the move and thus perhaps the reason why the 30 year fixed is now cresting 4%.
In terms of macro-economic data, NAR will release January Existing Home Sales…
Thursday, February 19th, 2015 at 10:34am. 111 Views, 0 Comments.
>> Market UpdateQUOTE OF THE WEEK... "The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them."--George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright and critic
INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... Circumstances in the housing market continue to improve. A National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) report says the U.S. is running at 90% of normal economic and housing activity, based on current employment, home price, and building permit data. The NAHB Chairman feels, "A growing economy and rising consumer confidence should help drive the release of pent-up demand in 2015." Their Chief Economist likes the employment picture, "where the number of metros that reached or
Saturday, February 14th, 2015 at 4:11pm. 40 Views, 0 Comments.
COMMENTARY: Fresh figures released by the Commerce Department this week showed overall retail sales fell a steeper-than-expected 0.8% in January but many analysts were quick to point out most of the decline in headline sales last month is directly attributable to a 9.3% plunge in gasoline prices.
The media is breathless touting the fact sales were 3.3% above their year-ago level, and if gasoline station growth is excluded, sales were up an impressive 6.6% on a year-over-year basis. True enough, but investors live in the future, not the past. Without a significant improvement by the American consumer in coming months - the pace of economic growth in 2015 will fall below the 3.0% pace economists are currently projecting. The "good news" here is that…
Friday, February 6th, 2015 at 7:02pm. 68 Views, 0 Comments.
COMMENTARY: Finally, mortgage investors have taken note of the increasingly positive monthly jobs’ reports. Earlier today, the Labor Department released its January report showing the creation of 257,000 new jobs - capping the best three-month labor market performance in 17 years. Coupled with an hourly earnings increase of .5% to $24.75 - marking the biggest gain in six years, and investors could no longer shrug off this stellar performance and mortgage rates increased a tick. Of course, more jobs, more income, more people buying homes!
And there’s more! A "wild-card" event is currently underway that may soon influence mortgage interest rates a great deal. The United Steelworkers union is threatening work stoppage at more than 200 refineries,…
Monday, February 2nd, 2015 at 1:57pm. 85 Views, 0 Comments.
>> Market UpdateQUOTE OF THE WEEK... "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."--Elmer G. Leterman, American insurance broker and author
INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... Last week's December New Home Sales report showed there's plenty of opportunity in today's housing market. We saw new single-family home sales shoot up 11.6%, to an encouraging 481,000 annual rate, their highest level since June 2008, while sales were up 8.8% for the year. December's faster selling pace dropped the months' supply of new homes to 5.5 months, even as inventories increased by 5,000 units. But inventories remain low, so home builders have plenty of room to ramp up construction. The incentive should be there, with the median price of new homes
Friday, January 30th, 2015 at 10:53pm. 81 Views, 0 Comments.
COMMENTARY: The biggest bang for the mortgage buck this week happened on Tuesday when it was reported that December’s Durable Goods Orders plunged 3.4% -- well in excess of the consensus estimate calling for a gain of 0.5%. This data along with poorly received earnings reports from Microsoft, Procter & Gamble and Caterpillar sent the stock markets into a downward price spiral and mortgage markets experienced a minor rally with rates dropping a tad. On Wednesday, the Fed continued its pledge to be "patient" in terms of increasing the federal discount rate. Bond investors loved both events and mortgage rates stayed at historically low levels.
Looking ahead to next week – all eyes will be on Friday’s January Nonfarm Payroll report. The consensus…
Monday, January 26th, 2015 at 2:27pm. 66 Views, 0 Comments.
>> Market UpdateQUOTE OF THE WEEK... "Enthusiasm is the greatest asset in the world. It beats money and power and influence."--Henry Chester, Australian public servant
INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... Home builders showed plenty of enthusiasm in December, sending Housing Starts up 4.4%, to a way-better-than expected 1.089 million annual rate. Overall starts are up 5.3% compared to a year ago, with annualized growth of more than one million units for the fourth month in a row. In fact, more homes were started last year than any year since 2007. Single-family starts shot up 7.2% for the month and are up 18.4% over the last two years. Building Permits did drop 1.9% overall, but the falloff was all due to multi-family units, which are volatile